ERBIL, Kurdistan (Rudaw) — At least 19 people have died and several others wounded in a fire incident that broke out at a hotel in Erbil, the capital of the Kurdistan Region.
Governor of Erbil Nawzad Hadi told Rudaw at the scene of the fire that 15 of the victims were Filipino nationals.
“14 of them were women and 1 man,” he said. “The other four were Arabs. Three from Iraq’s Salahaddin province and one Palestinian.”
Head of the Erbil health department said that most of the victims lost their lives from suffocation and less from burning.
According to city officials the fire started in the basement of Hotel Capitol on Gulan Street which later spread to the massage center.
The management of Hotel Capitol denied the fire having started from their hotel, suggesting that some of the fire spread from the massage center from their hotel.
Governor Hadi however, confirmed that the massage center was part of the hotel.
All hotel staff and guests were reported safe and unhurt in the incident.
Firefighters controlled the fire and the incident that took place at around 4pm local Erbil time is under investigation by the police.
Dr Rawand Hawezi of the Erbil emergency hospital told Rudaw that they received the bodies of 7 of the victims.
Nine others were rushed to the West Erbil emergency hospital.
10 firefighters were also taken to the hospital for treatment suffering from intense smoke inhalation.